Thursday, April 30, 2009
The more I see ...
... the less I'm looking forward to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
(Except for this poster, which I will always think is awesome.)
Seeing my first sparse footage of it earlier this year, it inspired exactly the kind of bone-deep excitement the trailer's creators were hoping for. It looked intense and hardcore, and seemed mostly to be a standoff between Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and Liev Schreiber's Sabretooth. In fact, I'm not going to go to the tape to check it, but didn't Wolverine say something about ripping Sabretooth's head off? Awesome.
But as more and more footage of this movie has bled out over the ensuing months, my doubts have been building. And it's not even that I'm bummed that I'm seeing more and more of the cool stuff I want to be surprised by, a common complaint people have when the second and third trailers of a blockbuster materialize. Actually, it's that the new footage doesn't look cool enough.
The problems I have, in no particular order:
1) There seems to be quite a bit of stuff involving Wolverine flying through the air with the greatest of ease. But this guy isn't a trapeze artist. He's a brute whom we first met in some kind of underground fighter ring, kicking ass and breaking bones. Now, the guy's doing flips, tumbles and pirouettes through the air. I'm not talking about the scene where he gets propelled off a car toward a helicopter -- that still looks like it might be cool. No, this is the more recent footage where his body hurtles through the air on an arc-shaped path. This isn't the Wolverine I know.
2) How many other X-Men are going to be sharing the screen with him? I liked the idea that this was really about Wolverine himself, a lone wolf yet to be indoctrinated into the relative tameness of the X-Men society. Instead, he's splitting time with Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Gambit (Taylor Kitsch), John Wraith (will.i.am), The Blob (Kevin Durand), Bolt (Dominic Monaghan) and Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). Yeah, hero overload worked fine in the other X-Men movies, but I thought this one would be a little different. But when I really became concerned was when I realized they were cramming Cyclops in there as well. James Marsden's Cyclops is easily the weakest link of the three previous X-Men movies, though Halle Berry's Storm gives him a run for his money. And even though it's a different actor (Tim Pocock) playing Cyclops (a.k.a. Scott Summers) here, it's not a promising sight. With this multiplicity of characters, why even single out Wolverine? Why not call it X-Men Origins: Everybody?
3) I'm a bit concerned that this is going to be plagued by the same thing that plagued the most famous prequel, or series of prequels, prior to this -- the Star Wars prequels. Namely, that the "older" gadgets will seem a lot cooler than the gadgets that exist in the future of that story's timeline. Many a Star Wars fan had a hard time matching up the high-tech battle droids of The Phantom Menace with the low-tech storm troopers that would follow them 40 years later in the original Star Wars. (A week after Wolverine, we'll see if Star Trek succumbs to the same thing). I don't have any specific evidence of this, it's just a feeling I get from the footage I've seen.
So I'm worried that this movie will be overcrowded with high-tech circus acrobats.
Prove me wrong, Wolverine. Prove me wrong.